Fueled by Passion, Inspired by Patients

Find out what motivates ORA Orthopedics’ providers to practice and treat patients in the Quad Cities in “What Moves Me.”

In recognition of patient care, meet Urgent OrthoCARE’s, Physician Assistant, Melanie Wilson. Melanie is one of 17 PA’s at ORA. PA’s are critical to our care team and dedicated to each and every patient. 

Melanie manages our Urgent OrthoCARE Bettendorf clinic to ensure patients get immediate medical attention after business hours and on weekends.

Meet ORA Orthopedics Physician’s Assistant: Melanie Wilson, P.A.

Years in practice: 16
Years at ORA: 1.5

Hometown: Eldridge, Iowa

Education:
Biology and Psychology, BS
University of Iowa

Microbiology, MS
Clemson University

Physician Assistant, BS
Medical University of South Carolina

What inspired your interest in a medical career?
As a child, it’s always been about medicine. I loved animals, so I even considered veterinary school, but I decided humans were easier to deal with!

At the University of Iowa, I was a Resident Assistant in the dorms when a student died after eating peanuts. I felt helpless. EMS came while I was in her room. By the time they left with her, they were doing CPR. That was a life-changing moment.

I decided to pursue the emergency aspects of care. I wanted to see if I could do it. When I graduated from Iowa, I attended graduate school to work on EMS, and it was at that time, I became a paramedic. When I became a PA, I leaned more towards emergency medicine.

Tell us about your role at ORA.
AT ORA, I work at Urgent OrthoCARE every day. My shift is 1-7 pm. When patients come to us it can be an emergent situation: people have slipped on ice, kids have sports injuries, patients may have potential infections or traumatic injuries, such as falling off the roof, for example. 

What do you enjoy most?
I love the variety. I never know what injuries we’ll treat in next. Many patients come to us because they don’t know where to turn. I use my background in emergency medicine all the time and truly enjoy helping people.

What does a PA do?
ORA’s Physician Assistants are an integral to our team-centered philosophy of care. PA’s are trained to start treatment, provide care and diagnose orthopedic injuries. If necessary, we refer patients to appropriate follow-up with ORA surgeons, other PA’s, pain management, or even our Physical Therapists if needed.

What do you enjoy about working at ORA?
It’s a team effort. We all work well together to care for patients. ORA is a one-stop shop for patients — from diagnosis, treatment, and through rehabilitation. Everyone works well together and respects each other’s role.

How do you spend your free time?
I am a busy mom; I have two boys aged 7 and 9 who are the world to me. We love to hike local parks, and they enjoy the fairs in the summertime. We love cooking together. My oldest son won a blue ribbon for his apple pie in a pie-baking contest at the Donahue, IA, festival!

How do ORA patients inspire you?
I like that most people want to get better and improve themselves. Nothing is more inspiring than experiencing their desire to get well. They’ve only got one body, and it’s great being the person who can help them!